Mitigating Methane: Emerging Technologies To Combat Climate Change's Second Leading Contributor

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Pratt, Chris
Tate, Kevin
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2018
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Abstract

Methane (CH4) is the second greatest contributor to anthropogenic climate change. Emissions have tripled since preindustrial times and continue to rise rapidly, given the fact that the key sources of food production, energy generation and waste management, are inexorably tied to population growth. Until recently, the pursuit of CH4 mitigation approaches has tended to align with opportunities for easy energy recovery through gas capture and flaring. Consequently, effective abatement has been largely restricted to confined high-concentration sources such as landfills and anaerobic digesters, which do not represent a major share of CH4’s emission profile. However, in more recent years we have witnessed a quantum leap in the sophistication, diversity and affordability of CH4 mitigation technologies on the back of rapid advances in molecular analytical techniques, developments in material sciences and increasingly efficient engineering processes. Here, we present some of the latest concepts, designs and applications in CH4 mitigation, identifying a number of abatement synergies across multiple industries and sectors. We also propose novel ways to manipulate cutting-edge technology approaches for even more effective mitigation potential. The goal of this review is to stimulate the ongoing quest for and uptake of practicable CH4 mitigation options; supplementing established and proven approaches with immature yet potentially high-impact technologies. There has arguably never been, and if we do not act soon nor will there be, a better opportunity to combat climate change’s second most significant greenhouse gas.

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Environmental Science and Technology
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52
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11
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This document is the Postprint of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science & Technology, © 2018 American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see 10.1021/acs.est.7b04711.
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Other environmental sciences not elsewhere classified
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